Charges filed in stolen Rockford funeral home van case

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A 23-year-old Rockford man has been charged with abuse of a corpse for stealing a funeral home van containing a body that was later dumped in Chicago, authorities said Wednesday.

The man, who remained at large Wednesday, also faces a charge of unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle.

The van belonging to Collins & Stone Funeral Home was stolen from outside the Rockford business Saturday. Chicago police found it Sunday without the body inside.

The body of 47-year-old Curtis Brown that had been in the van was recovered Monday evening behind a vacant home on Chicago’s South Side, Rockford police said.

Brown's body was returned to Rockford by the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office.

Brown’s family has been notified of the incident and has been working with an out-of-state funeral home to have the body returned to his family in Mississippi, Winnebago County Coroner Jennifer Muraski said.